Monthly Archives: July 2011

Review- When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn (#6 Bridgerton Series)

Title: When He was Wicked (#6 The Bridgerton Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: AVON 2004

Source: purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from the back of the book:

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one’s been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one’s life will never be the same.

For Michael Stirling, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught and then turning the tables until he was the victor, of caressing and kissing and making love to them but never actually allowing his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and so hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing.

Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton a mere thirty-six hours longer; the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

**

This has to be the most emotionally engrossing novel in the Bridgerton Series.  The torment of Michael’s secret love, the torment of Francesca’s grief , their guilt and passion.  Well it is just the absolute best for a sentimental fool such as Moi.  Quinn knows how to write and brings to life the personalities of these two people so that we totally understand them and their feelings.  The romance is long in coming to fruition and perhaps people long denied would become so passionately free.   Quinn gives us a study in the consequence of guilt and how it can impact a relationship.  This is no light and fluffy read.  Have tissues handy and enjoy a good cry.

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Deet’s Rant-Is it Me or is it Me?

(No, this Picasso painting is not me and if it was me, I would sue the genius who painted it.  But never mind, this post is about something else entirely.)

Harlan Cobin, my go-to guy for page turning mystery and suspense has just announced his Sept. 6th release of…are you ready…a Young Adult novel. Yes, along with practically everyone in the publishing world now Cobin is writing in the YA genre. “Okay,” you say, “So What, Deet?” I’ll tell you so-what! I love my go-to authors. I buy their books faithfully and send their kids to Harvard. YA books just don’t do it for me. All that teenage angst and hormone eruptions, I just can’t hack it. Then you get those teens that act like they are thirty and have this entire mature outlook and manage to save the world…give me a break.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve read some good YA’s; well written, deserving of their cudos. I’m not saying the authors are bad. It’s just so disappointing that all that talent is geared toward that particular market. You know, the market sector that has all the money, teens.  I spend money on books, maybe not as much as the teens but then they have more than I do.

I have forever been a person who embraces change and does not curse and struggle against the flow of the current, all that seems to be changing.  I seem to be flailing around in that murky water bucking this trend to no avail.   Damn, I think I’m old.  On the other hand I think some of the best, funniest, most intelligent and swoon worthy books are for kids, not Young Adults.  Like this one for example:

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Review-The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn (#2 Bridgerton Series)

Continuing on with Julia Quinn Week—

Title: The Viscount Who Loved Me (#2 The Bridgertons Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Julia Quinn

Pub:  Avon Books (Large Print Edition), 2003

Source: Library

Rating: 5

Sexy rating: 5

For me, there is no romance more delicious than the kind where the H/h are truly disliking each other and then fall in love.  It is wonderful to see them transform from antagonists to lovers and Julia Quinn has written the perfect story in this theme with her delightful THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME.

Kate Sheffield is the older, plainer of two sisters at their first London Season.  It is imperative that the sisters find marriage partners who are, if not wealthy then at least well off since they cannot afford to come to London for another season.  Edwina the younger sister is considered the beauty and most likely to attract a proposal.  Because of this Kate is devoting her attention to her sister’s cause and screening likely suitors.  

Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton, has a reputation as a rogue and a rake of the first order.  He is the head of a large family that relies on him for their protection and wealth.  He is 29 and he feels it is his duty to marry and produce an heir and this is the Season he intends to do just that.  Edwina Sheffield seems to be the ideal candidate.  For him it will be a marriage of convenience and certainly not love.

The fun of this book starts with Kate’s determined attempts to thwart Bridgerton’s pursuit of her sister since she does not want Edwina marrying a man with his reputation. They are like cats and dogs and of course they are both strongly attracted to the other but refuse to acknowledge the attraction.

There is humor and pathos in this book which makes for a totally satisfying read.  This book was rated by readers of www.likesbooks.com as # 8 out of 100 all time top romance novels in print.  It is truly deserving of the distinction.

The Bridgerton Series ( H or h)  [rating given out of 100]

  1. The Duke and I (Daphine) reviewed on Monday July 25,2011
  2. The Viscount Who Loved Me (Anthony)
  3. An Offer From A Gentleman (Benedict)
  4. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Colin) ]
  5. To Sir Phillip With Love (Eloise)
  6. When He was wicked (Francesca)]
  7. It’s IN His Kiss (Hyacinth)
  8. On The Way To The Wedding (Gregory)

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Sexy Man Tuesday- One of Deet’s Faves- Alex O’Loughlin

 Alex O’Loughlin (born Alexander O’Lachlan on 24 August 1976 in Canberra, Australia) is an actor, currently starring in the CBS television series, Hawaii Five-0 as Lieutenant Commander Steve McGarrett. His best known earlier roles include Kevin Hiatt in The Shield and Mick St. John in Moonlight, and romantic comedy film, The Back-up Plan, where he starred alongside Jennifer Lopez, which grossed $77,237,270. He is also the current ambassador for Donate Life America.

I am a long time fan of the short lived series “Moonlight”.   I’m sure this was one of the most romantic shows on TV and certainly helped feed my love of Vampire fiction.  I have the DVD’s of this show and every now and then will have a marathon of re-watching.  Love that Vampire!

Here’s a vid of Alex in “Moonlight” with a really sexy song by the late great Etta James.

 

Thankfully Alex did not leave the TV arena after Moonlight.  Now he can be seen in” Hawaii 5-O” on CBS.  He is One of Deet’s favorites.  Yes, indeed he is.

(Yeah, I know this has absolutely nothing to do with books, oh well, Sexy Man Tuesday will be a regular feature until the well of sexy men runs dry.  Sometimes book related, sometimes just because.)

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Filed under Deet's Life, Favorites, Opinion, Sex, Vampire

Review- The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (#1 Bridgerton Series)

Title: The Duke and I

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Julia Quinn

Publisher: Harper Collins July 2011

Source: purchase, Kindle edition $1.99 until August 9,2011

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description: Simon Basset, the irresistible Duke of Hastings, has hatched a plan to keep himself free from the town’s marriage-minded society mothers. He pretends to be engaged to the lovely Daphne Bridgerton. After all, it isn’t as if the brooding rogue has any real plans to marry – though there is something about the alluring Miss Bridgerton that sets Simon’s heart beating a bit faster. And as for Daphne, surely the clever debutante will attract some very worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable. But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, she soon forgets that their courtship is a complete sham. And now she has to do the impossible and keep herself from losing her heart and soul completely to the handsome hell-raiser who has sworn off marriage forever!

**

I have been all over reading this series out of order.  It doesn’t really spoil the books but I think reading them in order is more desireable.  This one at $1.99 from Kindle is a great bargain and it is book one in the series.

Let me get this out of the way; I am in love with the Bridgerton Series.  There, now you know so that is why I am totally biased about each of the books.  Every time I read one I think “Oh, this is the best one.” And then I read another and think the same thing again.

This first in the series sets the tone for all the ones to follow (see the list below).  Daphne is not a raving beauty, although certainly not unattractive, so all her potential suitors look on her as a pal and not a sweetheart.  Simon the Duke has had a traumatic childhood and has no desire to marry and continue the lineage.  In their attempt to “help” each other they fall in love but not without problems to overcome.

Quinn is a master of dialog, scene setting, romance and plot. You’ve got nothin’ to lose, go for it.

Bridgerton Series:

  1. The Duke and I
  2. The Viscount Who Loved Me
  3. An Offer From a Gentleman
  4. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
  5. To Sir Phillip, With Love
  6. When he was Wicked
  7. It’s in His Kiss
  8. On The Way to the Wedding

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Review- Mad About The Duke by Elizabeth Boyle

Title: Mad About the Duke

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Elizabeth Boyle

Publisher: Avon 2010

Source: purchase

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description:  Level-headed Lady Elinor Standon will not allow her greedy stepfather to wed her younger sister to the highest bidder! The only way to stop this evil plan is for Elinor to to gain control of her sister’s guardianship, but to do that she needs to get married. Convinced that nothing less than a duke will do, she hires Mr. St. Maur, Esq. to help her land her lofty lord… However her plans go awry as she discovers that beneath her solicitor’s rumpled coat and haughty demeanor is a man all-too-desirable to ignore and she finds herself falling for more than his unconventional legal advice.
 
James Tremont, the ninth Duke of Parkerton, is astonished by the freedom and anonymity he’s gained simply by donning his brother’s ill-fitting jacket, especially when an exquisite, peer-hunting beauty mistakes him for a solicitor… Now he finds himself tangled up by more than her legal woes. For until he can undo the straight-laced yet delectable Elinor, his identity must remain a mystery—because by not having revealed it immediately, this dedicated bachelor may have already sabotaged his one chance for the madness of finding his one true love.

**

This was my first Elizabeth Boyle book.  I found it very confusing with characters obviously brought in from other books that I have not read.  There was no indication on the cover of this book that I might need to start with other books.  I gave it two stars because it wasn’t horrible only a very frustrating read. 

Two people who fall in love at first sight, mistaken identity that is not cleared up, acting totally out of character for one of the couple, acting illogical for the other of the couple and a bunch of servants who should have been fired.

The only adult in the book was a 12 year old Duke.

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Bookstore in San Antonio, Texas

This is a video of the new Half-Price bookstore in San Antonio, Texas.  Half Price now has 113 stores throughout the USA.  They buy books from the public and resell.

I have a local bookstore that buys my used paperbacks for 25% of the original price, for credit in the store.  Then I can buy books from them for 50% of the original price.  They tack on a transaction fee of $.20/book that I buy.  They don’t always take a book that I bring in, sometimes they may have too many of that book on the shelf.  However they do stamp all books sold by them and always take them back as long as I haven’t drooled my morning coffee all over the book.

Now I want to send you for a look at some very unusual bookstores, the video on the first one is interesting and you have to click on the pags to see the ten stores.

http://flavorwire.com/194844/10-unconventional-bookstores-for-your-browsing-pleasure

 

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Extra! Extra! One week only Kindle sale

It is called The Big Deal on Amazon.com.  Over 900 books have been priced from $.99-$3.99.  It is certainly worth a look.  One that caught my eye was Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels which was a very good read and it is only $.99!  You don’t need a Kindle e-reader to take advantage of this offer.  You can download a Kindle app to your computer or even your cell phone. Remember this sale is only until July 27th!   Here is the place to look:

http://tinyurl.com/43xxamz

 

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Series Review: The Rarest Blooms by Madeline Hunter

 

 

 

 

Titles: Ravishing In Red (Book 1) February 2010

           Provocative In Pearls (Book 2)

           Sinful In Satin (Book 3) October 2010

           Dangerous In Diamonds (Book 4) May 2011

Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Author:  Madeline Hunter

Publisher: Jove, div. of Berkley Publishing

Source: Purchase

Series rating: 4

Series Sexy Rating: 5

Series Description: Four women reside and work in the country at Daphne Joyes home and business, The Rarest Blooms, where they grow flowers and fruit to sell to the London Society.  These women all come from mysterious, secret backgrounds and the rule of the house is “don’t ask”.

Four gentlemen from London are friends, one an Earl, one the brother of a Marquess, One who has spied for the crown and one a Duke.  They each become involved with the ladies of The Rarest Blooms.

Ravishing In Red-(rating-4) Armed with her cousin’s pistol, Audrianna travels to a coaching inn, to meet with a man who may have information that will clear her dead father’s name. She does not realize that the handsome man of commanding sensuality who shows up is not the person she expected, but instead Lord Sebastian Summerhays, one of her father’s persecutors, lured to the inn by the same advertisement that brought her there.

When the pistol accidentally fires, the situation becomes mortifyingly public, and thoroughly misunderstood. Audrianna is prepared to live with the scandal. Lord Sebastian has other ideas. . .

Provocative In Pearls-(rating-4)When Verity’s past abruptly finds her, her recent behavior promises to unleash the scandal of the decade. Of more concern to her, she now has to outwit fate or be forced back into a marriage to a lord whom she never freely accepted. She never expects for the stranger who is her husband to create so much sensual excitement, however, or for her quest for the life she was supposed to live instead to reveal a conspiracy that endangers them both.

Sinful In Satin-(rating 3.5)When famed London courtesan Alessandra Northrope passes away, her daughter Celia Pennifold inherits little more than a hopelessly contaminated reputation, a house in a middle class neighborhood, and an education that prepared her to take her mother’s place the way Alessandra intended. Celia hopes to make her own life on her own terms, however, and moves into the house only to discover one more legacy—an enigmatic, handsome tenant who knows her mother’s plans for her future rather too well.

Jonathan thinks he is on a simple mission to discover whether Celia’s mother left accounts of her lovers that might embarrass important men. Instead he finds himself embroiled in a mystery full of dangerous betrayals and secrets, old and new, that touch on his life as well as Celia’s.

Dangerous In Diamonds-(rating-4)The Duke of Castleford has been so bad for so long that scandal can’t be bothered to rise up around him anymore. To alleviate the boredom of his privileged life, he occupies himself with drinking and whoring, not to mention the occasional duel. When something piques his interest, however, he has been known to emerge from his ennui and employ his considerable mental faculties to finding answers to the questions that fascinate him.

When Daphne Joyes rejects this notorious hedonist’s seduction, she assumes that he will forget about her and continue on his path to hell. Instead her beauty, grace and formidable composure captivate him, and she becomes one of those fascinations to him. That he intends to have her, and soon, is actually the least of the dangers that his pursuit of her presents. More troublesome is his interest in her past and her history, and the way he keeps poking his nose into the secrets behind the distant relative’s bequest that gave him ownership of the property where she lives.

**

I could have reviewed each of these books separately but I am not going to do that.  “Why?” you say.  Well, it is because they, all together, really read like one long novel. ( I suppose many series are like that but never mind, this is how I am doing it.)  All the characters are mentioned in each book.  Yes, each book has its own side story and plot to expose the mystery of that books heroine.  But it still was all one story.  Not complaining mind you, I kept reading each one right after the other to find out what would happen to the next hero and heroine. Thankfully there are no cliff hangers at the end of each book but there are hints about the characters.  This made me want to continue on with the series. I was delighted to wonder about each side character as the series progressed.  Especially that rakish rogue the Duke of Castleford (the baddest are always the most intriguing) and Daphne who seemed the most mysterious of all.  Yes I liked some stories better and I have rated each book according to my degree of liking.  Sometimes the characters were more likable than other times.  But all in all this is a very readable series.  The author is accurate in her use of titles and scene for the regency period.  I did think at times that the characters sometimes were a bit too “modern” for the time period but I will defer to Ms. Hunter’s expertise in history.

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Sexy Man Tuesday –Jim Rosenau

Jim Rosenau

I don’t think Jim expected to be on “Sexy Man Tuesday” but he qualifies because there is nothin’ sexier than fabulous creativity and talent and Jim has it in spades….er…books…maybe pages.  Anyway, here is a Bio from Jim’s website and after that a gander at some of the fabulous “book” shelves he has created.

Jim Rosenau was raised in a house with 5,000 books. He has been making and selling thematic bookshelves from vintage books since 2002. The idea occurred to him years earlier after reading an essay, “Books As Furniture,” by Nicholson Baker. Given his background as the son and grandson of publishers, he assumed the reaction, should he make such a thing, would be furious. The work, once underway, proved him wrong.

His book furniture has since earned him a wide following with work sold in almost 50 states and countries. Primarily shown at closely juried shows, he is also represented by dealers from Vermont to Los Angeles. The work has been widely published in print and on the Internet.

Previously, he has been a carpenter, comedy writer (with Charlie Varon) , editor, software developer, planning commissioner and designed and built parade floats. His writing has been published in Fine Homebuilding, The New Yorker, ReadyMade, and Salon.com and heard on public radio. He lives and works in Berkeley, California.

This is Jim’s “Nancy Drew” book shelf, a custom design.

“Medicine” bookshelf also a custom design.

“Humpty Dumpty” shelf.

Kitchen shelf with knobs to hang towels or aprons.

You can see more of Jim Rosenau’s art at www.thisintothat.com

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